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July/August Tuesday PM Handbuilding with David (Organic sculptures)


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Hello hello!  

For this months hand building series we will be working on organic sculptures. I'm thinking flowers, trees, snakes, fungi, animals, frogs, abstractions of all of the above. Maybe some chimera creatures. I'm thinking striking silhouettes and a strong object presence. I'm thinking detail. I'm thinking texture. I'm thinking color. These can be small, tiny even, or they can be huge (as long as they fit in the kiln). Whatever you want.

In a pottery studio, and in ceramics generally, there is a huge tendency to stick to the confines of functional objects: cups, bowls, pitchers etc... While these objects can certainly be exquisite and artful in their own right, a purely sculptural form, with no intent of use or obvious function, can help break us out of the often extremely rigid frameworks of functional pottery. Making sculpture pushes us as artists and craftspeople to think beyond the limits of function and start thinking more about form. These lessons can then be applied back to our work as functional potters and improve our work tremendously. And you'll get to walk away with a pretty amazing piece of art. 

Some artists to get you thinking:
Juz  Kitson
Phoebe Cummings
Matt Smith
Brendan Tang
Crystal Morey
Martha Russo
Masaomi Yasunaga
Ying-Yueh Chuang
Nuala O'Donovan
Lisa Hellrup
Daisuke Iguchi
Alex Anderson

Week one: July 5, 7-9 pm We are jumping right in.  This week, there is no need to have a particular vision in mind. We will be going over a handful of intermediate construction techniques as well as a few decorative and sculptural methods.  The huge majority of this class will be demos to get you thinking about what you might want to make. 

Week two: July 19, 7-9 pm Ideally, you will all come prepared with a rough outline or sketch of what you might want to make.  You may even have started working on your piece.  This class will be geared as much more of a workshop with each of you working on your pieces, while I give feedback and demos as needed.  We will be going over some decorative possibilities that need to be done before the bisque firing; slip decoration and some underglazing. 

Week three: August 2, 7-9 pm Decoration and glazing.  At this point, work on your sculptural pieces should be moving along pretty well. If your piece hasn't already been bisque fired, it should be soon. This week we will talk about your plans for glazing and surface decoration. There is no set agenda for this week (it depends on what you are all doing), but we will likely be talking more about underglazing and the process of glazing complex objects. 

Week 4: August 16, 7-9 pm Critique and class wrap up.  For week 4, I would love for everyone to have a finished piece ready to talk about. How did everything go? What problems did you have? And more importantly, what solutions did you come up with?  How is your glazing working with the form? Is your concept clear to the viewer? Are there unresolved technical or aesthetic issues? These are the sorts of questions that may come up during this weeks meeting. 

If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask!  



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  • 1 month later...

Hi David! I know we are doing glazing next week for the final class. I was wondering if we could learn about bubble glazing as part of this glazing class? Also are the under glazes in studio the right type for this kind of process, and also if this is too messy of a process to do in the studio?

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